“Music to Inspire” was the perfect slogan for a truly inspirational concert given by talented young musicians from all over West Sussex. The concert was held to celebrate the launch of the county’s Music Partnerships which in turn followed on from last year’s 50th Anniversary of its Music Service, held in Chichester and Crawley.

The Partners tonight featured three flagship bands: the gigantic County Youth Orchestra, the County Big Band and the Worthing Youth Concert Band. We also enjoyed stunning performances by Northbrook College and Sussex Academy of Music (SAM), Oak Grove College Taiko and Band, Chichester Festival Youth Theatre (CFYT), and last but definitely not least, the very promising younger groups Canto Celeste and St Catherine’s RC School Brass Band.

A tremendous variety of music was offered to the packed Assembly Hall in Worthing, ranging from rock to classical, jazz, urban and musical theatre, and it was great to see the groups supporting each other with whoops of applause. Every performer clearly enjoyed the experience and visibly gained in confidence. Their teachers, parents and friends were also thrilled, proud and delighted with all their enthusiasm and prowess.

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The presentation of the concert was a labour of love, with slick scene-shifting aided by members of CFYT. This gave the opportunity for commentary by key figures responsible for all the organisation: compere (or should it be commere?) Lisa Holloway (Northbrook), Peter Griffiths (WSCC Cabinet Member for Education and Schools), and Emily Barden (singer and composer, whose delightful song: Like Music, Ever Changing was performed by Canto Celeste). Emily also invited the audience to participate in an impromptu performance of a three-part warm-up Sing with me, 1 2 3 - thus proving that everybody present was capable of making music!

One hopes that this is just the beginning of an ever-spreading musical partnership and we look forward to the next instalment with great anticipation!

Marilyn Dennis

A retiring collection was taken for the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, a charity which helps children with life-threatening illness.